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20 de Mayo Luncheon

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April
2

This year’s 20 de Mayo luncheon event, hosted by the Cuban American National Foundation (CANF) and benefiting the Foundation for Human Rights in Cuba (FHRC)’s Somos Un Solo Pueblo(SUSP) scholarship program was held at Miami Dade College (MDC) Chapman Hall in downtown Miami.

According to the El Nuevo Herald article published earlier today, “members of the group of students who are currently enrolled at Miami Dade College highlighted the benefits of Somos  Un Solo Pueblo…”

One of the inaugural SUSP students, Raudel Collazo (from the Cuban rap group Patriot Squadron) said it has been a “tremendous experience.” He went on to say “I think the program has served mainly to create a new mindset. We learned a lot not only from the academic point of view, but also about living together and how to function in a society like this, so different from ours. “

In addition, the 2014 class of Mas Family Scholarship recipients, comprised of young Cuban Americans who will begin their college journeys in the fall at prestigious universities throughout the country, were recognized at the event, having the unique opportunity to interact with their Cuban counterparts from SUSP.

The goal for the future of SUSP, according to CANF Chairman Jorge Mas Santos “is to have between 80 and 100 young people each semester here in the United States.”

For more information on SUSP click here.

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Welcome to CANF

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October
3

Since its inception in 1981, the Cuban American National Foundation (CANF) has been a key part of the Cuban exile community in the United States. CANF has worked to enlighten public opinion on problems of Cuban concern, fight bigotry, protect human rights, and promote Cuban cultural interests. Through over 30 years of tireless work and successful programs, CANF has been able to maintain the Cuban issue relevant in the international domain.

Today, the Cuban exile community is as diverse as it has ever been. Since the first wave of immigrants left Cuba in the 1950’s, three generations have altered their lives in search of freedom and prosperity. We at CANF strive to unite and support thousands who, willing to share the benefits and blessings of living in a free society, act on their sense of duty to help provide a better future for the entire Cuban exile community and freedom to the people of Cuba.

CANF Board of Directors

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Jorge Mas, Chairman

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Mr. Mas is Chairman of the Board of the Cuban American National Foundation (CANF), an institution founded in 1981 dedicated to the promotion of a free and democratic Cuba.  The CANF supports the principles of respect for human rights; freedom of thought and expression; freedom of religion; the right of people to freely elect their government; the right to private property; free enterprise; and economic prosperity with social justice. As Chairman, Mr. Mas directs the CANF’s general programs- recognized and respected nationally and internationally- promoting freedom and democracy in Cuba, while enlightening public opinion on issues of concern to Cubans, including the defense of human rights, the promotion of cultural achievements, and fighting bigotry.  Under his leadership as Chairman, the CANF has spearheaded efforts to develop an independent civil society inside Cuba, promoting a nonviolent democratic transition and economic and social development in international forums such as the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, the 25th Anniversary Celebration of the Polish Solidarity Labor Union, and the Civil Society World Assembly sponsored by CIVICUS, the World Alliance for Citizen Participation. In his travels on behalf of a democratic Cuba, he has met with multiple heads of state including Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar of Spain, President Lech Walesa of Poland, President Alvaro Uribe of Colombia, President Leonel Fernandez of the Dominican Republic, President Carlos Menem of Argentina, President Julio Maria Sanguinetti of Uruguay, President Martin Torrijos of Panama, President Oscar Arias of Costa Rica, President Alejandro Toledo of Peru, Presidents Violeta Chamorro, Enrique Bolaños, and Arnoldo Aleman of Nicaragua, and Francisco Flores of El Salvador, advocating the release of political prisoners in Cuba and the establishment of democratic institutions. In addition, he attended the swearing in ceremonies of President Enrique Bolaños of Nicaragua and President Alejandro Toledo of Peru as part of the official delegation and has met with Nobel Peace prize recipient Vaclev Havel. Recognizing that the values of freedom, respect for human rights and the protection of institutions are above partisan politics, Mr. Mas has met with Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama. Mr. Mas is a founding member of Consenso Cubano, established in Rome in 2005. Mr. Mas has appeared on national television programs, including One on One with John McLaughlin, The McNeil-Lehrer report, Sixty Minutes, Larry King Live, Fox’s Equal Time, Frontline, Dateline NBC and the Early Morning Show with Bryant Gumble, among others. Mr. Mas has testified before the United States Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere and lectured at university conferences and has written articles appearing in the Washington Post and the Miami Herald among other national publications. Mr. Mas is Chairman of the Board and Co-Founder of MasTec, Inc. (NYSE:MTZ) and has been involved in all phases of the firm’s development since its creation in 1994. Mr. Mas began his career at Church and Tower, MasTec’s predecessor in 1984. MasTec is a $3.6 billion revenue  network infrastructure contractor employing over 12,000 individuals in six distinct business lines; Power Generation and Industrial Renewable, Natural Gas and Oil Pipeline, Electrical Transmission, Wireless, Wireline Utility Services and DirecTV Install to the home. Mr. Mas graduated from the University of Miami with a Bachelors degree in Business Administration in 1984 and a Master in Business Administration in 1985.

Francisco “Pepe” Hernández, President

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As the current President and a founding member, Dr. Hernandez is responsible for the development and implementation of numerous programs that deal with issues such as human rights, refugee resettlement, the publishing of scholarly studies on today’s Cuba and its future reconstruction.  His activities include contact with the various branches of the U.S. government, foreign governments, the media, international organizations and volunteer agencies, universities and the Cuban exile community. Since 1972, Dr. Hernandez has established various businesses and corporations in the field of agriculture and construction, ranging from animal feed supplies to technical and consulting services. Dr. Hernandez earned his Bachelor’s in Business Administration from the University of Florida in 1966 as well as a Master’s in Economics from Duke University in 1967 and a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Florida in 1969.